British Columbia

High speed train proposed between Portland and Vancouver

A group based in Portland is lobbying local governments for a high speed train that would connect the Cascadia region, from New Westminster to Portland.

Proposed commuter train would at travel at 290 km/h and cost more that $18B

High speed trains are in operation around the world, including this train, made by Swiss company Stadler. (Cascadia High Speed Rail)

A group based in Portland is lobbying local governments for a high speed train that would connect the Cascadia region, from Vancouver to Portland.

The proposed train would take passengers from Greater Vancouver to Seattle in less than an hour, and to Portland in less than two.

"It would be over 180 miles [290 kilometres] per hour and it would be on … it it's own corridor separate from freight rail," Brad Perkins — the co-founder and CEO of Cascadia High Speed Rail told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

The cab of a modern high speed train. (Cascadia High Speed Rail)

Perkins said it would take a public-private partnership to fund the train, and the first phase of construction would only run between Seattle and Portland, which would cost from $18 billion to $22 billion, according to Perkins.

The second phase would continue the line into B.C.

The inside of a high speed train, similar to the one proposed to run between Vancouver and Portland. (Cascadia High Speed Rail)

With over 1 million people travelling from Seattle to Portland on the Amtrak train each year, he believes the interest from passengers is there. The next step is getting politicians on board.

While Perkins has spoken to local politicians in the United States, he hasn't yet approached Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson with his proposal.

To hear the full interview with Brad Perkins, click the audio labelled: Brad Perkins proposes high speed rail through Cascadia.

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